Recently, I listened to a sermon series on idolatry (this sermon series was based on the book [b:Gospel Treason: What Happens When You Give Your Heart to Idols|14493975|Gospel Treason What Happens When You Give Your Heart to Idols|Brad Bigney|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340830292s/14493975.jpg|20136543]. It was fantastic, so when I saw this book offered on the booksneeze blogger program I immediately signed up for a copy. The cover was cool. I had mental images of Thor and Loki battling it out with battle axes and fire...only in a Christian sort of way because this was about idols of the heart--an enormously important topic. I was a little disappointed that there was no battle imagery depicted in this book (should I say *Spoiler Alert*?), but Kyle has written a good book none the less.
In part one, he sets up his premise, declaring that idolatry is not just a issue it's THE issue. The heart is the battle ground where the gods war for our attention and worship. And the fact that God is a jealous God, who is not content to let us chase after lesser things. From here the sections revolve around Temples: the temple of pleasure (the god of food, the god of sex, and the god of entertainment), the temple of power, and the temple of love. There is no "practical section" at the end of the book because he does this after each god he addresses. He always includes a segment called "Idol ID" in which he walks you through some searching questions to help you discern whether this might be an idol in your heart or not. Then he includes a segment called "Jesus My Satisfaction" with the tag line "Idols are defeated not by being removed but by being replaced." This last one is where he walks the reader through Jesus' supremacy and the idol's inability to satisfy.
Kyle Idleman uses lots of first hand examples from his life or people he has counseled. These are often very useful for grasping the reality of the situation--making the issue concrete rather than theoretical. He helpfully applies Scripture, making it fun and interesting. At the same time, I was left wanting something more. I'm not sure if this is a problem of the book or me. I'll admit that I'm a glutton for punishment. Years of academic reading have conditioned me to want harder reading, detailed exegesis, or at least some serious A.W. Tozer style prophetic tongue lashing. If that is what you are looking for then you wont find it here. That's probably a good thing for the average person. This is a great introduction to the concept of idolatry. It's fun (even though there are no cool battle scenes), filled with examples and practical helps, and it's Gospel centered.
I did find it difficult to not compare it with the sermon series I mentioned above, but that's not even a fair comparison (especially since I haven't even read the book the series is based upon). So, I'll let that slide. But there where a few minor things that annoyed me. There are frequent QR codes throughout the book, linking to a song or an audio/video testimony. I don't have an iphone. Plus, it is an element of the book that will go out of date in the near future, so I would have preferred it if they would have left it out (I would have probably thought otherwise if I had an iphone...who knows). But the biggest annoyance to me was superfluous footnotes that could have easily been included within the body of the text. Footnotes like "So I've been told," "They would probably say, gobbledygook, hooey, hogwash, or poppycock," "Admittly, that is awesome," etc. So when it comes to some of these editorial choices within the book I would say, to quote Kyle Idleman's first book, that I'm "Not a Fan." The true content of the book, however, is well worth reading. I would say that I give it between 3 and 4 stars.